Harare City Council has refused to take full responsibility for poor service delivery in the capital, saying ratepayers, who are not fulfilling their obligations, are also to blame.


Speaking at council and labour unions debriefing held in Harare last Thursday, MDC secretary for elections, who is also a Harare councillor, Jacob Mafume described the issue of service delivery as a chicken and egg situation.

“We have to pay for the services in order for the service to come. Which starts first is a debate which everyone is engaged in, but people must understand that in these days for the telephone you must pay first before using the airtime, for data you pay first before using the airtime,” Mafume said.

“The council is the only one where people get service first and pay later. We use an arrears payment process and many residents do not understand that.

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“They believe they are paying for what they are getting upfront. We give you a service first and you pay for it. That system is very difficult to sustain.”

Mafume also claimed that poor service delivery could not be totally pinned down on disgruntled workers, but someone had messed up.

“We are all aware of the inflationary environment and the harsh economic times as a result of austerity measures introduced at central government level. We have been trying to catch up and find ways to alleviate the welfare of employees.” he said

“The shortcomings of the council are not really caused by disgruntled workers, someone messed up and it’s not us. We are trying to do the best we can with the lemonade we are being served.”

Mafume said issues to do with inflation, shortage of cash and liquidity should be addressed to Finance minister Mthuli Ncube.

“Concerns being raised regarding inflation, cash shortage and issues of liquidation must be addressed to Mthuli. We are hoping our colleagues will persuade minister Mthuli to delay the effort of going to space or the moon so that we can use that money to deal with people here on earth. I am sure the moon can wait for us,” Mafume said.

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